02-07-2011

Hungarian government funds six new feature films

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KARLOVY VARY: The Hungarian government has quietly funded at least six new feature films in the last few weeks according the Hungarian daily newspaper Nepszabadsag.
While Hungarian filmmakers continue to wait for settlement of debts owed to them by the now defunct Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation (www.mmka.hu ) for 2010 film projects the Ministry of Ministry of National Resources (www.kormany.hu/en ) under the department of Geza Szocs, Hungarian State Secretary for Culture, has paid out 140 million forints to finish Istvan Szabo’s long awaited new film The Door. Istvan Szabo is president of the main jury in Karlovy Vary this year.

While first denying earlier press reports the office of the ministry confirmed to the newspaper that it had paid the sum. The money was in addition to the fund of 800 million forints that the ministry has been allotted to fund the Hungarian film industry in 2011.

According to the newspaper the ministry also has agreed to pay 100 million forints for a new production The Notebook by Janos Szasz, and small amounts for a new Benedek Fliegauf project Gypsy, a new film by Hajdu Szabolcs titled Mirage and a debut film by Balint Kenyeres titled Hier and a first time film by first time director Bodzsair Maric for his film about ambulance workers God’s Work Shift. The ministry has not publically confirmed that it has funded these projects.

The money is the first government funding for cash starved Hungarian film production for nearly a year.

The news comes as the newly minted Hungarian Film Fund has yet to start to dole out production funds. The new Fund was launched recently under the auspicies of Hungary’s Film Commissioner Andy Vajna and is helmed by Agnes Havas.